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Area football team ready to start 2010

first_img High school football season openers are a week away as all three Middletown teams wind down their productive pre-seasons. Middletown High School South running back Scott Meeker finds some daylight during the Eagles’ preseason scrimmage with Sayreville on Aug. 30 in Middletown. The Eagles, 11-1 last year, kick off the 2010 season on Sept. 11 at home against Ocean Township. Start time is 1 p.m. JEFF GRANIT staff Middletown South, which plays host to Ocean on Sept. 11 at 1 p.m., looks to return to the NJSIAA Group III Central championship game for the fifth time in six years, ending an 11-1 season in 2009 in a 30-10 playoff championship game loss to Monroe. Its last state title was in 2006. Middletown North, which opens at North Brunswick on Sept. 11 at 1 p.m., lost a Group IV state playoff opener to Sayreville, 20-0. It lost four games in a 5-5 season to the state playoff semifinalists. Mater Dei, which became a prep school last month, lost only seven players from a 1-9 season as it prepares for a Sept. 10 opener at Middlesex starting at 7 p.m. under new coach and school principal Steve Sciarappa. Middletown High School South’s Tim McArdle makes a finger-tip catch during the Eagles’ home scrimmage on Aug. 30 against Sayreville. The Eagles, 11-1 in 2009, open the season at home on Sept. 11 against Ocean Township. Kickoff is 1 p.m. JEFF GRANIT staff Middletown South There will be five new starters on each side of the ball as coach Steve Antonucci rebuilds the offensive line and replaces leading player Sean Campbell, an inside linebacker who is at Georgetown, and defensive lineman Nick Bricker, who is at the College of New Jersey. The team moves into Shore Conference A South against Howell, Manalapan, Freehold Township and Middletown North after playing in the Federal Division. “Defensively, we’ve played pretty well and tackled well, but offensively, we have new people up front,” said Antonucci. Scott Meeker returns at quarterback and Antonucci said he “has a better grasp of what we’re doing” in the triple-option offense. “He’s athletic and will be a huge part of our offense this year,” said the coach. Meeker is also the punter. Taylor Rogers, a senior wide receiver, caught 10 touchdown passes last year. Kyle Bunge, a senior fullback, scored 16 touchdowns last season, and junior Tim McArdle also will run the ball as well as senior Andrew Suarez, who becomes a two-way player this year. Suarez returns at cornerback for a defensive backfield that is the most experienced area of the team. Seniors Tom Massey and Rick Lovato are the only offensive linemen who started last season. “The key is to stay healthy because we have so many young and new starters, and to get our offensive line up to par,” said Antonucci. Senior David Elkhatib is ready to start his third season at cornerback, and Matt Saulnier is an experienced starter at linebacker. Connor Ryan kicked well for the team last year as a freshman. Middletown North Senior quarterback Frank Derise and senior offensive guards Tyler Svenson and Jake Smith (the biggest starter at 6 feet 1 inch and 250 pounds) lead a young, inexperienced team by replacing six starters on each side of the ball. “The guards are key players we need to be successful,” said coach Joe Trezza, who also looks to senior Rob Mercante’s experience at left tackle. “We need to hold together until the younger guys come along.” Junior Joe Racciopi, a starting cornerback last season, moves over to offense where he will run the ball with sophomore Austin Borrero and fill the void left by graduated 1,000-yard rusher Sean McKee, who is at Kean University. Senior Shilique Calhoun has experience at tight end. Junior Jesse Fredericks, who started at safety, has practiced well at wide receiver along with sophomores Robert Spinelli and Nick Welsh. “Derise has gotten a lot better and is throwing a lot better,” said Trezza. “He has the ability to stretch the field, which will help us out.” As for the defense, Trezza said it “has a long way to go,” where graduated linebacker Ryan Wagner led the team in tackles. Senior T.J. Sherank is at strong-side linebacker, and sophomore Chris Stark will play in the middle, while senior Sean Mac- Donald, sophomore Dominick Pedone and Borrero are vying for the weak-side spot. Smith and Calhoun are back on the defensive line and junior Vin Morris and sophomoresMatt Gollucio and Kyle Gebhardt are competing hard for playing time. Senior Brian Crosby looks sharp at end but the other spot is wide open. While Racciopi starts at one cornerback spot, senior Shawn Fountain and sophomore Cody Thompson are vying for the other spot. Senior Joe Meehan is the other safety with Fredericks. Senior Dave Uster is handling the kicking and punting. Mater Dei Sciarappa, who succeeds Ron Raymond after serving three years as an assistant and coaching previously as an assistant at Central Regional and Monsignor Donovan, reports the largest roster in recent years at 30 strong; a solid turnout for a school with 300 students. There will be sophomore and freshman games as well as junior varsity games scheduled for this season. Players have high-tech tablets for their plays in what Sciarappa calls a “much more collegiate approach.” But whether that helps add to the wins after last year’s team staved a winless campaign with a 7-0 state playoff consolation victory over Newark Academy depends on whether the team masters the option offense. Junior Jesse Meyer may see more action at running back than at quarterback this year where senior Parker Lampa may take over that spot. Senior Mark Sudziarski, the workhorse in carrying the ball last year, is complemented at fullback by seniors Casey Malloy and Mike Eckhart. Elijah Dumont, a 6-foot-4 sophomore “with a lot of potential,” says Sciarappa, looks to replace grad- uated receiver A.J. Knutsten, who had the most catches. A lot depends on how the line develops behind center Kevin Quinn, who will be starting for the fourth year, and Dwight Sheehan, the biggest lineman at 6 feet 2 inches and 220 pounds who shows good footwork. “The No. 1 thing is that we can’t beat ourselves and we have to play smart football,” said Sciarappa. “Our defense is coming along but it’s very conservative.” The defense will be an odd front set but an area of concern since Sheehan and junior Mike Miles at the end spots are the only certainties. Quinn and Molloy are the linebackers. Cornerbacks are Meyer and Sudziarski, who also handles the kicking game. Lampe and Eckert are the safeties. Eckert is also the punter BY WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent last_img read more


Phil Llewellyn appointed new head coach of Cyprus rugby team

first_imgBy Alexander McCowanWhen the Australian national rugby team drew with the New Zealand world champions at home in the Four Nations Tournament last Saturday they prevented them from challenging the mighty Cypriot Moufflons for their world record of 23 consecutive winning games. There was much speculation in the Antipodean sporting press whether New Zealand on 17 would cream the southern competition, held between Argentina, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, and automatically garner the world record with a possible 25 consecutive international wins. However, thanks to the Aussies, Cyprus will start their new season in European Division 2B safe in the knowledge that the All Blacks have to start all over again while the Moufflons will kick off with a home game against Andorra in November.Securing their record wasn’t the only reason for celebration last week. The Cyprus Rugby Federation announced the appointment of their new national coach to replace Paul Shanks who is standing down from coaching the national team and undertaking the role of Director of Rugby. Shanks, a former hooker, and British Army coach, took over when the national team barely had enough money to provide the team with a spare set of kit. Financially, little has changed, but on the field of play the name of Cyprus has echoed around the rugby world. The Australian, New Zealand and South African press have all speculated on the development of rugby in such a small country and the disappointment that arose from the failure of the International Rugby Board to honour their promise to let Cyprus participate in the play-offs for the World Cup. However, while this would have crowned coach Shanks career, it was not to be, but he can retire knowing that his protégées have triumphed through five years campaigning in Europe, been promoted through three consecutive divisions, obtained a world record and secured the respect of all they have encountered. Bravo Paul Shanks.The new coach, Phil Llewellyn, was chosen after an exhausting selection process and will arrive in time to take over his duties for the Andorran game. He will have familiarized himself with the substantial and growing group of overseas Cypriot players that now clamour to wear the national colours. Llewellyn comes to Cyprus with an impressive coaching pedigree. Based in Somerset, a hotbed of English rugby, he has coaching experience that spans English Colleges, clubs, academies, schools. A level 3 coach he has tutored male and female sides – current under 19’s England women’s coach – worked with Wasps and London Irish, both Premier Division sides and is currently Director of Rugby with Nuneaton R.F,C. Much of his time has centered around Bristol Academy of Sport and Gloucester and Bristol Universities.Llewellyn’s playing career took off at the age of seven in the West Country witnessing him rise to captain his town side at 14-18 level and then take off to further his rugby experience in New Zealand playing for University of Waikato for a year. On returning he settled into the Clifton R.F.C. setup in Bristol but playing days came to an abrupt halt when he tore a spinal disc. Since then he has dedicated himself to becoming the best coach possible: his qualifications are prodigious. He brings a new level of coaching and management to the island side at a time when the Moufflons are entering unknown territory. The new division comprises Baltic and Balkan countries as well as Iberian that will surely test the mettle of the Moufflons and their new coach.Phil Llewellyn has not visited the country before and states: “I am really looking forward to visiting Cyprus which I am told is very friendly, full of charming people, wonderful weather, and good food.”He went on “Taking over from such an experienced and successful coach as Paul Shanks I know there is much to prove. While I am younger than most national trainers I think there can be some advantages in this. It is my intention to take Cyprus, who after all are a very young team, as far as they can go, and then a bit farther”Laurence Vasilliades, president of the Cyprus Rugby Federation, stated “The decision by Paul to retire was a blow but it seems we have struck lucky with Philip, who comes fresh and full of new ideas just when we are moving up in Europe. Paul did a marvelous job for us and we will never forget him. It is brilliant that he has found time to stay on as Director of Rugby and will be able to mentor the new coach on the rock strewn fields of European rugby.”last_img read more


Weatherly : Cornwall still very strong

first_imgWestern Bureau: Coach of defending daCosta Cup champions Cornwall College, Dr Dean Weatherly, says the school still has a strong team despite losing a few key players. Cornwall will start the new season next month without Jourdaine Fletcher, last year’s Golden Boot winner and the most talked about schoolboy footballer in 2016. “We have so far managed to retain 80 per cent of our winning squad … some are awaiting CXC results,” Weatherly said while adding that after the examination results are known, he will have a better idea of his final squad. Coach Weatherly strongly believes that the school’s youth programme has the ability to turn out exciting talent that can fill the gaps. “We have unearth a lot of talent from the Under-14 and Under-16 levels … and also people who want to join us as champions from outside,” he said. The veteran coach said Cornwall College boast the record of most daCosta Cup wins dating back to 1953 and have become a household name in schoolboy football in the west and so they do not need to scout players. “Players normally want to come and join us because of our rich history, so most of our team consists of home-grown players. We do not have to go out and scout, Cornwall are not known for doing that,” Weatherly added.last_img read more


In Your Neighbourhood

first_imgWaterhouse FC receive football equipment The Top Notch Summer League in the Knockpatrick region of central Manchester has reached boiling point, with the semifinals set for tomorrow at the Sunset Community field. At 2 p.m., Generations United face Albion before defending champions Belair Boyz oppose Galaxy. In last week’s action, Generation United and Galaxy qualified from Zone 2 with 13 points each after Generation played to an exciting 2-2 draw against Central United. Central United failed to advance by just one point, but their striker, Kemar Green, still leads the goalscoring charts with 11. Generation’s Alden “Messi” Rattray has 10. The Waterhouse Football Club recently received football equipment from Crossfire Premier FC, Seattle, Washington. Items received include 150 boots, 60 balls, 30 shin guards, playing jerseys, 20 backpacks, and other items. Arrangements for the donations were made by Anabel Moore, a relative of club chairman Bruce Bicknell, who resides and plays football for the Crossfire Premier Football Club in Redmond, Seattle, Washington, USA. ”Our goal is to make Seattle’s surplus equipment available to needy kids. We believe no child should be prevented from playing football or any other sport because of a lack of equipment. Football has transformed my life, and nothing brings me more joy than seeing more children being able to play and fall in love with the game,” said Moore. An overwhelmed Bicknell was elated with the gift and said: “When my niece Anabel called me from Seattle to make this generous offer, I did not hesitate and told her to arrange it right away and deliver to our freight forwarding in Miami. This equipment also couldn’t have come at a better time because the Under-13s, Under-15s, and the women’s teams are currently in their season,” Bicknell said. Club president Donovan White also said that the gesture came at a most opportune time and thanked Crossfire for the equipment. The Under-13 team has advanced to the quarterfinal round, while the women’s team defeated Arnett Gardens 2-1 in the end-of-round playoff game to win the first trophy available for the season. Semis day in Top Notch Summer League Tuff Gong, Galaxy in Western Union Porus U-15 finalcenter_img Defending champions Tuff Gong and Galaxy will faceoff in the 2018 finals of the Western Union-sponsored Porus Under-15 league. In last weekend’s semifinals, Tuff Gong defeated Villa 2-0 while the second semifinal was no-contest as Galaxy overran Settlement 11-0. The finals is set for 4:30 p.m. after the Porus High daCosta Cup team opposes Glenmuir High in an exhibition game starting at 3 p.m. An awards ceremony will follow the finals. The Juici Patties-sponsored Senior and Junior netball leagues have reached the knockout phase. The focus will be on the Junior league tomorrow at the Mineral Heights Sports Centre. Scheduled matches: 2 p.m. – May Day B vs Denbigh C; 3 p.m. – Toll Gate vs Portland Cottage; 4 p.m. – Denbigh B vs May Day A and at 5 p.m. – Hayes Super Star vs Beckford Kraal. In Zone I, unbeaten May Day the top team with seven wins, netting 205 goals and conceding 45. They were followed by Denbigh B, Toll Gate, and Beckford Kraal. Hayes Super Stars qualified as the top team from Zone 2, also with seven wins and no defeats. Clarendon Juici Patties Netball at KO stagelast_img read more


It’s no surprise to see violence in schools

first_imgWhen we consider the violence that surrounds young people of varying ages; on our streets, on our television screen, on game consoles, on our phones, in our neighbourhoods and for too many, even in our homes, should we really be surprised that it is also a stark reality in many of our schools?It could be argued that there has been violence in school for as long as we can all remember. Most of us have been witness to a scuffle or two in our day, if not been directly involved ourselves once or twice, but the chilling reality for our children is the days an altercation resulted in a bloody lip, a black eye and sore knuckles are fading fast. Now we have to wonder what the weapon of choice is going to be and if the participants are going to make it out alive.Outside of the physical threat, effects of school violence include vandalism and loss of school facilities, moral decadence, increased crime rates, erosion of cultural values and poor reputations for schools as well as societies.Many factors contribute to the increased risk of violence from children at school. Those unfortunate children with a history of violent victimisation often understand that to be the only type of behaviour and they form antisocial beliefs and attitudes. Authoritarian childrearing attitudes which still prevail in Guyana can be harsh, and can lead to low emotional attachment to parents or caregivers, poor family functioning and low self-esteem in young people. If a child does not receive love, care and nurturing in the home, they will find it difficult to display the same in their outside of it.In homes where parents or guardians display violent behaviour, and children are exposed to violent conflict in the family, they usually adopt violence as a way of asserting authority themselves at school. The psychological deficiencies created by dysfunctional homes such as anxiety, stress, worry, hatred, inferiority complex, anger and other negative emotions fuel violent behaviour.During the mostly inevitable difficult, confusing or vulnerable times in a young person’s life, they are in need of proper guidance or care, and if they do not have access to support or guidance, this is a high risk time for possible violent outbursts. Learning, behaviour and social cognitive deficits such as hyperactivity or learning disorders can also lead to high emotional distress that can manifest in violence or poor behaviour control when misunderstood or mishandled at school.As a result of feeling lonely and misunderstood, more teenagers are using drugs and alcohol; heightening tendencies for aggressive and antisocial behaviour which can lead to violence. If the misuse of these drugs becomes addictions, there is also an increased risk of depression; yet another precursor to violent behaviour.The school system can sometimes have a way of dismissing violent acts as misdemeanours but this is a dangerous oversight in light of the serious incidents that can occur. In addition to this, the legal system in many areas, especially developing countries, is yet to develop specific laws that will help curb school violence and make it an offence appropriately punishable by the law.When we send our children off to school we should not have to worry what they will encounter each day, whether they will come to physical harm, whether they are safe. We are sending them to learn and flourish, to develop and grow. How can we expect them to do so in a hostile environment with the threat of violence along the corridor or in the playground?As with most social ills affecting our society, the responsibility cannot be laid solely at one door, but must be undertaken by all facets of society. Parents and guardians have a key role to play and should ensure that the atmosphere at home, where the child is nurtured, is violent-free and that they foster effective communication between themselves and their children to help reduce some of the perceived pressures which cause them to act violently. Schools need to make their environments more conducive to learning and tailor teaching to engage all students. There should be more understanding and time given to address the social needs of students and strict but fair consequences for violent behaviour. Policymakers must devise and uphold non-violence in schools for both teachers and students. We cannot expect a child to be beaten in class and then be punished for employing the same behaviour. Community organisations, supported by governments, should make concerted efforts to reach out to students in a counselling and mentoring capacity and work with them to explore ways to express themselves without the use of violence.last_img read more


Rasheed Guzman of Clendale, leveraging skill and determination

first_img“Lose yourself in the music”Rasheed Guzman, the owner of social media management agency Clendale, has entrepreneurship on the brain, and it has been that way for a very long time.“I really admire and am inspired by Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Tai Lopez, Gary Vaynerchuck, Ray William Johnson, Eminem, David Falconer from Credit Info Guyana and Rosh Khan. Most came up from nothing to something….a bunch of former waiters, immigrants, “nobodies”, but through determination they rose up to be some of the most influential and great people in the modern world. While David Falconer and Rosh Khan are just very swell and successful people. They both have that intelligent and interesting personality where you can speak to them for hours and not get bored.”He is determined to prove that he has the vision, the ability, and the mental fortitude to own multiple businesses aimed at improving the quality of life of Guyanese – validating those who first believed in him when he put entrepreneurship before academics in high school – and become an international philanthropist at the same time.That’s quite a tall list, but given the potential of Clendale, the determined entrepreneur is fired up to achieve his dreams.“I have always been an “outside of the box” kind of person, and I observed from a young age that academic grades and good conduct grades given by someone else’s definition of standards that are stressed on in high school don’t actually matter in the grand scheme of things in today’s world. Of course if one wants to pursue a profession that requires this, then that’s the route they must follow,” Guzman, said in a radical statement sure to raise some eyebrows.“I have had this ambition and free thinker mentality since I was around 11 years old, to do and be something greater than my current self, to make a difference. Since college and further education are not within my reach at this time, I need to do something now. I have both “self-centred” (like most businesses and individuals) and philanthropic reasons for pursuing my ambitions sooner rather than later.”Guzman, who was born in New York to a Guyanese mother and Hispanic father but spent much of his life in Guyana, earlier related that he spent his days as a child learning the importance of hard work, since he started with very little. “My mother worked hard every day to ensure that I was provided with all my needs even though all my wants could not be fulfilled.” At age 16, the ambitious, confident youngster, the grandson of late radio and TV host Ayube Hamid Khan, decided to start a transportation business. “I was fortunate enough to have family that has influential friends, so I decided to speak to some of them to become investors in my transportation business, which was my first prospective venture. But due to the climate and practicality, investors either did not have the funds or were not willing to invest in such a risky project. This is why I decided to switch to developing my social media marketing business, Clendale.”Clendale, located at Good Hope, East Coast Demerara, essentially manages the online presence of businesses and markets them. It also offers graphic designing, website development, models and event planning.With a team of eight, Guzman is working hard to boost businesses for the good of all. He noted that many businesses were not customer service-oriented, organised, or innovative enough to compete on a global scale, adding that “some business individuals would spend millions on a bar bill and not even spend half of that on their businesses to expand or progress for the good of all”. Many also failed to promote and love their own products and services because people believe American brands are better than local products.He opined, “There needs to be more pride and patriotism in order to progress as a nation. Guyana has so much potential and there needs to be much more motivation and willingness to venture out of one’s comfort zone. The global business world is changing and Clendale is set to bring Guyana on par on the world’s stage.”Listing some of the lessons he has learnt, Guzman said some “people are lazy even when they seem busy, the Guyanese business environment is a mess, determined people are better than skilled people, and your business can never grow effectively with quality if you do not have people you can trust”. The firearms, astronomy, gaming and sky diving enthusiast, who defines success as happy and “doing something and being damn good at that something”, says better and structured economic conditions and easier access to funding were needed to assist entrepreneurs.His advice to those hoping to follow in his footsteps were “”Lose Yourself in the music” – have ambition, keep at it, and work smart not hard”. His ultimate goal for Clendale is for the company to serve clients from multiple countries and for each client to thrive.Contact: 655-1671; facebook @ Clendale; Instagram@ Clendale.last_img read more


Liverpool suffer defeat at Bournemouth

first_img0Shares0000Bournemouth celebrate their fourth goal, which sealed a 4-3 win against Liverpool in Bournemouth on December 4, 2016 © AFP / Glyn KIRKBOURNEMOUTH, United Kingdom, Dec 4 – Liverpool’s title challenge suffered an unexpected setback as they squandered a 3-1 lead to lose 4-3 at Bournemouth on an astonishing day the south coast club will never forget.Jurgen Klopp’s side missed out on a chance to go second in the Premier League and instead remain four points behind leaders Chelsea after their incredible meltdown in the last 14 minutes at Dean Court. It was also a day when the romance and passion of English football was at its very best.Bournemouth, who were playing in the fourth tier of English football as recently as six years ago, had never beaten Liverpool in nine previous meetings in all competitions dating back to 1927; in fact you have to rewind to 1968 to even find a draw.But after excellent goals from Sadio Mane, Divock Origi and Emre Can appeared to put Klopp’s team in control, Bournemouth produced a stunning, high octane comeback culminating in a stoppage-time winner for Nathan Ake.Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum battles for the ball with Bournemouth defender Steve Cook during their English Premier League clash on December 4, 2016 © AFP / Glyn KIRKIt was all inspired by a match-winning performance from 22-year-old substitute Ryan Fraser, who only came on because of an injury to teammate Junior Stanislas in the second half with his team trailing 2-0.The Scottish winger won a penalty with his first touch, scored Bournemouth’s second at 3-1 and set up the equaliser for Steve Cook as the game was turned on its head.Liverpool fans might have feared their club’s challenge to win a first league title in 27 years could be derailed by news that star man Philippe Coutinho will be missing for up to six weeks with an ankle injury suffered against Sunderland eight days ago.But instead it was their defence, with Lucas Leiva used as an emergency centre-back because of an injury to Joel Matip, that proved the problem and highlighted weaknesses in Klopp’s squad.Klopp has spoken recently about the need to add players in January, particularly since Coutinho’s injury, and it may be at the back where he needs most help.– Sumptuous –At first it looked as though Liverpool would cruise this game, however.Bournemouth’s problems began after 20 minutes when a sumptuous long pass from Can sent Mane racing towards goal.Liverpool’s Emre Can (right) celebrates his goal against Bournemouth on December 4, 2016 © AFP / Glyn KIRKHe easily held of defender Ake before coolly and cleverly drinking a shot past goalkeeper Artur Boruc.If there was nothing Boruc could do about that one, he was certainly at fault for the next –- which arrived only two minutes later.Again, a long ball up the line –- this time on the right flank from Jordan Henderson -– found Origi racing into the channel, but strangely Boruc hared out of his goal, heading across the field, far too early.The Belgian was able to side step him and curl a perfect long-range shot into the far corner of the net from a very difficult angle.Bournemouth’s best hope in the first half came with a strong penalty shout when Roberto Firmino appeared to trip Ake in the area –- and if the Bournemouth man had not flung himself so dramatically to the floor he may well have got it.But the home side did score from the spot after 56 minutes when James Milner, playing at left-back, clearly brought down Fraser who had only arrived on the pitch seconds earlier.Striker Callum Wilson scored confidently to add spice to the game.Liverpool responded well, going 3-1 ahead after 64 minutes when Mane cut the ball back for Can to score with a fierce and swerving shot from the edge of the area.Fraser had one effort well saved before finishing an excellent breakaway move with a drilled finish from inside the area after 75 minutes.Suddenly the visitors were rocking -– and when Fraser crossed again from the right, Wilson set the ball back for defender Cook to lash home an unlikely equaliser.Bournemouth completed their incredible comeback when Loris Karius fumbled Cook’s long-range shot and Ake pounced from close range.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more


Funny video: Steven Caulker and Rio Ferdinand’s QPR initiation songs

first_imgQPR new boys Steven Caulker and Rio Ferdinand were both forced to sing a song as part of their initiation during the club’s pre-season tour of Germany. Luckily for them, it was caught on camera.last_img


Hospitals, universities study the link between prayer and patient recovery

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champNumerous studies show a link between faith and outlook, faith and well-being, faith and healing times.Scientists at such prestigious institutions as California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, Duke University in North Carolina and the George Washington University Institute for Spirituality and Health in the nation’s capital are exploring the relationship of prayer and faith to healing.More than half of physicians in an April survey by a group at the University of Chicago said that religion and spirituality significantly influence patients’ health.But the exact mechanism by which it works remains elusive.“Does it change your blood markers?” asked neuropsychiatrist James Duffy, president and CEO of the Institute of Religion and Health in Houston. “You’re going to see a lot of research directed at that over the next few years.” MARTINEZ – Carla Dodd was 43 and pregnant with her second child when two rapid-fire brain hemorrhages threatened to end her life.Her husband, John, is a medical malpractice attorney – logical, analytical.But Martinez resident John Dodd says he thinks prayer – by friends, fellow congregants and strangers as far away as Africa – had much to do with his wife’s long-shot recovery.Scientists are taking a hard look at the value of faith as an instrument in healing – including the “intercessory” or healing prayers said on behalf of others. Religion can help those with chronic conditions, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke and arthritis, say the authors of a study at the University of Missouri at Columbia.“Religion is infrequently discussed in rehabilitation settings and is rarely investigated in rehabilitation research,” said University of Missouri health psychologist Brick Johnstone. “To better meet the needs of persons with disabilities, this needs to change.”Yoga, reading of religious texts, meditation or the laying of hands have value in a clinical setting, the researchers concluded.To inquire about a patient’s religious beliefs “is no different than inquiring about their sexual, psychological, substance use and legal histories,” said Johnstone, who directs the university’s Spirituality and Health Research Project.“Our goal is to bring to the conversation that health is more than fixing your body,” Duffy said. “Health is a transformative process that involves healing the spirit.”Hospital officials have long left patients’ spiritual needs in the hands of chaplains, but they increasingly are reaching out to faith communities.Parish, or faith community nursing, which combines spiritual and health services, has exploded since the American Nursing Association recognized the specialty in 2005.Today, an estimated 10,000 faith community nurses work in American congregations.John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek recently advertised for a supervising nurse with theological education. The new manager will offer support to nurses who work in religious congregations.“We have a mission statement that says faith plays a role in healing,” said Dwayne Michael, director of pastoral care at John Muir. “We do a spiritual assessment (of each patient).”In San Francisco, a leading researcher in mind-body medicine found a positive link between intercessory prayer and the well-being of people with AIDS.Prayed-for patients in a study by late UC San Francisco professor Elizabeth Targ had fewer setbacks and lived longer than a comparison group. A follow-up study found the same results. Targ later found a link between spirituality and well-being among women with breast cancer.A connection notwithstanding, Jeff Leinen, medical director of the emergency department at Sutter Delta Hospital in Antioch, has qualms about medical practitioners assuaging the spirit. For one thing, it is too easy to impose one’s faith on a patient, he said.Leinen says a prayer before he performs a procedure or when a patient dies, “but I say it quietly, and to myself.”“Everybody has their own faith and belief,” he said. “You have to be very, very careful.”Some academics recoil at the blurring of the line between faith and health care, saying prayer, meditation and other faith practices resist definition or measurement.Far more studies show no link between religious belief and healing than a positive one, said Richard Sloan, a Columbia University behavioral medicine professor and the author of “Blind Faith: The Unholy Alliance of Religion and Medicine.” Suggesting one can mislead people and put an unfair burden on them, he said.“Look, nobody disputes that religion and spirituality bring comfort in a time of difficulty, but when spirituality is brought into medical care, it is another issue entirely.“It can do all sort of harm because it causes people to confuse medical care with other aspects of their lives,” he said. “It can lead them to avoid conventional medical care. And it can lead them to believe their health problems are from inadequate faith and devotion.”John Dodd, whose wife and daughter are now healthy, smiled when he was told about Sloan’s skepticism.“He doesn’t realize there is so much to the art of medicine that is unknown,” he said. “(Doctors) don’t know everything because a lot of it isn’t in their hands – the unknown, the unpredictable, the unforeseeable.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


Drawing, essay contest announced

first_imgINDUSTRY – In what leaders from two area newspapers and a bank hailed as one of the first joint ventures between English and Chinese media companies, the Sing Tao Daily, the San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group and East West Bank announced sponsorship Friday of a dual-language essay and drawing contest. “This is really the first time for this area that two major news media from different languages have joined hands,” said Peter Ho, general manager for Sing Tao. The businesses will award a combined $10,000 in scholarships to students in grades two through 12. Students in grades two through five can submit drawings that capture the theme of, “What I want to be when I grow up.” Students in grades six through 12 are to write essays addressing the theme, “The pursuit of excellence.” The essays can be submitted in English or Chinese. The winner of the drawing contest will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship. The winner in grades six through eight will be awarded $1,500. And the high school winner will be awarded $2,000. The victors will also get to meet Olympic-bound figure skater Michelle Kwan, organizers said. Drawings must be on 17-inch-by-11-inch paper or canvas and can be done in crayon, water color, oil or pencil. Writing entries must be less than 500 words. Entries should to mailed to: Sing Tao Daily, 17059 Green Drive, Industry, CA 91745; or to Terry Bell, San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group, 1210 N. Azusa Canyon Road, West Covina, CA 91790. The deadline is March 31. For more information, call Bell at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 6260. ben.baeder@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2703 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more